This is a big update with plenty of info and eye candy. The price of admission
to this feast? You have to read our help-wanted ad first.
MEC2 Needs Voice Actors
For MEC2 we really want to have authentic Israeli and Arab voices. We can't, however, if you don't help us out! We don't want to have fake accents and neither do you, so if you have a decent microphone and are from the middle east, please visit our "Voice Actor" topic. We definitely need you.
Ark UAV-Carrier Airship
With the success of the AWACS blimp, the IDF commissioned an even more ambitious project: the ARK carrier airship. Flying above the range of most small-arms, the ARK would serve as a mobile UAV base. All the personnel and equipment to operate the ARK’s squadron are contained in the airship itself, and the vehicle defends itself from air attack with two THEL turrets mounted on top. The UAVs it carries are small, relatively fast, lightly armored and expendable. They come with medium machine guns. Numbers of them are excellent for patrolling and engaging groups of insurgents along borders. With the rising tensions, new weapons have been prepared for drone use, including guided antitank missiles--these should make the ARK a potent part of a military force.
Bhones has recently completed work on our latest map, the 4-player map "Temple Mount." In the center of the map is the Dome of the Rock, which also is where the combat flows to since there are four occupation points surrounding it. Unlike our past maps, this is designed to be a bit more turtle-friendly with each player having two occupation points somewhat near to their base. As for the crows, they actually serve for gameplay as well! Any airborn units that fly near them take damage, since birds in the engines don't promote mechanical well-being. This prevents the IDF from relocating to the center right off the bat since players first need to shoot down the birds (and yes, they bleed).
Israel’s use of the CH-54 Skycrane for base mobility during the recent war with Syria proved to be one of the significant contributors to victories, yet the old surplus American helicopters were all but worn out at the time and a replacement was desperately needed. Israel put out a design requirement, and a joint design between the IAI and Boeing was selected. Using experience gained from the V-22 Osprey program, the new Skycrane II was designed with tilt rotors to add speed over long flights, and twin turbofan engines in the tail gave it even more power. True to calculations, the new Skycrane was capable of lifting over 50% more than its predecessor, and was significantly faster as well. The new vehicle has completely replaced the old Skycrane in service, and is currently serving very effectively with the IDF.
Skycranes and the Helipad
There was some confusion with the last update about the Skycranes. The Skycranes fly in from off-map to drop off all of the IDF's vehicles. They fly in from the nearest edge--so if you move your base to the center of a map, it'll not only take longer for vehicles to be brought in, but the Skycranes may be shot down on the way.
The Red Alert 3 Summit took place a couple weeks ago, of which by now I am sure you have read all about (every major C&C site has an article or two up). MEC2 has two related articles up about the event; one that no one should read (now with 50% more cynicism!) and one that goes into what we may see for RA3 modding and mapping. Also don't forget the post-summit roundtable over at CNCNZ.
Release and Status
For a detailed look at the current status of MEC2's development click here.
Now a bit of clarification: I am horrible with deadlines. In fact, I've sent emails to the Isotx overlords every month, for the past month, ensuring them that MEC2 would be released within a month. Obviously that hasn't happened yet. Still, we are confident that we can hit a July release.